My thoughts on writing tips found online and in published works (with some random thoughts thrown into the mix).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guest Post: EW Greenlee

For today's post, EW Greenlee has generously offered to share his writing experience and provide some suggestions on why you should never be afraid to write. Dig in!

I love all forms of books, but lately my passion with regards to writing has been in three distinct genres:
·         Fantasy
·         Science Fiction
·         Supernatural

Why, one might ask?  These genres allow an author total control over creativity and imagination.  If the author can dream it, they can write it. It just takes time and discipline.  Secondly, the genres offer escapism.  Crime novels come too close to home in the daily news.  I hear enough of that.  Finally, and I freely admit it, is the financial aspect of these genres.  I am also a CPA and financial advisor.  I look at any endeavor and consider the financial revenue streams.  If you look at the enduring success of stories like The Lord of the Rings, it continues to create an enormous and diverse stream of revenues. 

As a financial advisor, I read various sources of news to keep abreast of consumer trends.  It was in 2010, as I was nearing the completion of my epic fantasy adventure trilogy, that eBook trends began appearing more frequently.  It was at that time I made the decision to self-publish and retain control of all of my intellectual property rights.  I also acquired the technology to control the digital publishing and digital marketing processes.

As a writer, I have been given compliments on the conceptual aspects of my stories.  However, all authors have weaknesses.  My weakness is grammar.  It is horrible, but I am making the valiant attempt to self-improve and re-educate myself.  I would highly suggest to any author starting out, to assess your strengths and weaknesses, and to engage in networking that will provide candid improvement techniques.   I hire a professional editor and allow her to apply her strengths.

Do not allow others around you to make you give up your dream of writing a novel, novella, or short story.  With over six billion people on the planet, even a minute percentage may love your story.  All you have to do is put in the effort.  My trilogy took me ten years to complete and it required endless hours of research into subjects I was not altogether familiar with.  I used the evenings and weekends to do this, as I already had another career that paid the bills. 

In the end, the stories are not perfect, but I needed to let go of it.  I structured the story as a mythology, with fifteen more stories to follow that complement the compressed history in the trilogy.  Consider for a moment The Silmarillion, which is the creation story and history of the first and second ages of Middle-Earth.  My trilogy establishes this necessary history in the first nine chapters of book one, and lays the foundation for the unveiling of many clues to the final chapters in book three.  The telling of the history will be contained in the fifteen “Chronicles” to follow.

In all, I have over 30 stories in various phases of progress, a couple already written and requiring re-write and editing.  Why do I do this?  Honestly, I am bored with television, movie remakes, and formula novels.  New ideas and stories need to be brought to the reading public.  You may be the next author that everyone admires and emulates in their story-telling.  Never give up, and in the end, even if not financially successful, you can join a distinct and small group of people who can say “I did it!”  Network with fellow authors, join local writing clubs, a writer’s federation, and always listen. There is wisdom to be gained.  Now get busy writing, because if I can accomplish this task, so can anyone else.


  1. Although I do agree that fantasy/supernatural genres allows full control of a foreign story world, I must respectfully disagree on your argument that it gives an author any edge.

    Beautiful prose and plot comes second to none, in my humble opinion, as demonstrated by the historical fiction A Tale of Two Cities, a book that has sold more than Lord of the Rings. Or for that matter Agatha Christie's cozy mystery, And Then There Were None (which comes pretty close).

    I completely agree with everything else! Too many writers complete wonderful manuscripts but then get discouraged by a few opinions. Especially prone are those who write in cross-genres.

    1. Rashad,

      And I respectfully agree with you. Currently, I have no edge over anything. However, if the chance my mythology finds success, it can provide leverage.

      Funny you mention A Tale of Two Cities, with the opening prose "It was the best of times and the worst of times." Anyone who reads the news on writing and publishing knows it is undergoing a major transformation.

      As I mentioned, any good writer has to listen to opposing and constructive views, thank you for yours.

  2. Congratulations for following your dream and accomplishing your goal of writing your trilogy. I find this inspiring.

    1. Hello Jen,

      If you haven't seen the YouTube video "Jessica's affirmation", try viewing it. After watching it, stand in front of your mirror each morning and learn self inspiration. Then get busy writing.

  3. I think it is worth noting that A Tale Of Two Cities has a good century on The Lord Of The Rings, and that Dickens was already an established author (he had been writing for over two decades) by the time A Tale Of Two Cities was published. Tolkien had only really published one work of fiction, The Hobbit, before the much more challenging (an adult fantasy as opposed to children's fantasy, as well as the novel's far greater scope and length) LOTR was published. Admittedly, Tolkien had also had a limited print run of Farmer Giles Of Ham released prior to LOTR, but this was not a commercial or critical success.

    I love the blog, by the way! Good advice and a lovely personal touch.

  4. It is interesting to note another fact about Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities." This story is prerequisite in most schools. It is one of my all time favorites, but it was required of me in college. I am not sure I would have ever selected it for reading otherwise.

    In our current time, sales and multiple revenue stream generation is a key factor in many publishers decisions, not just the quality of the story. It is primarily still a business.

    By writing a story that will provide future stories and potential revenue streams, I believe, the odds improve for a writer. This will all be very interesting to watch over time.